Monday, 19 April 2010

Deja Vu Free Trial

Last time I used Dejavu (a translation software package) before this week was about a year or so ago, and I remember it seemed very unstable at that time. There was also the annoying problem of having to plug in this dongle which doens't work well for my laptop because my USB cuts out from time to time for no reason.

I downloaded and used a 30 day trial of the program this week and I was actually quite impressed. It didn't seem to be as buggy as I remember it at all. It ran rather nicely with my Windows 7. I'm not sure if the fully paid version would come with a dongle or not, but I've quite enjoyed using the programme.

I still have a really serious gripe with it which is to do with the tags. In Chinese the tags are virtually never going to be in the same place as they are in English. In fact the tags will very rarely even cover the same sections of text that the English text requires. One of the major reasons for this is that Chinese doesn't have any articles (the, an, a), whereas English has them before virtually every single sentence. Having to keep moving the tags around seems like a lot of extra work just to accomdate the word "a".

I can't really think of a purely technical way to solve the tags problem though. I guess the system could look and decide whether an article is needed and try to automatically suggest the new location. It might be able to look at the form of the word. A better solution is to bear things like that in mind during the creation of the Chinese document.

I'm still not convinced that dejavu would save me any money with my own personal way of working, and it seems rather expensive, but thankfully it's cheaper than Trados.

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